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snowden independent audit confirms ore reserves at

  1. amiggo

    236 Posts.


    An independent audit by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (“Snowden”) has confirmed a two year ore reserve at Radio Hill and proven the feasibility of developing the mine. The audit validated the database, resources, reserves and mine planning of the nickel sulphide project to the reporting criteria as set out in the JORC code.

    The ore reserve reported by Snowden is 313,000 tonnes @ 1.8% nickel, 1.4% copper, 0.1% cobalt and 0.8 g/t palladium. This ore reserve is recovered from a Measured and Indicated mineral resource estimate of 438,000 tonnes @ 2.0% nickel, 1.5% copper, 0.1% cobalt and 0.9 g/t palladium.

    Managing Director Brett Matich said, “Fox has now achieved its goal of an initial two year mine life and is on track to recommence production at Radio Hill by mid 2004, Fox will be utilising cash flows from production to extend mine life.”

    Extensive metallurgical test work by Ammtec Limited on reserve grade and blending of ore has estimated nickel recoveries to be in excess of 72% and copper recoveries of 93%.

    Annually, Radio Hill will produce around 30,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate grading 10% and around 7,000 tonnes of copper concentrate grading 24%. Fox will also receive additional payments for cobalt and platinum group metal credits. Jinchuan Limited, the largest nickel refiner in China will purchase both concentrates under a three year contract with Fox.

    Roche Mining (JR) Process Engineering started refurbishing the Radio Hill process plant earlier this year and completion is on schedule with production to start at Radio Hill by mid 2004.

    Fox will continue drilling simultaneously while mining to extend and increase the life of mine. The Radio Hill ore body remains open and through further work Fox aims to delineate further mineable ore. Underground mine development has been designed to provide excellent drill positions to better exploit identified mineralisation.

    Additional resources have been delineated at the prospective F Zone (Feeder dyke) and the Mt Sholl nickel sulphide deposits. Both these mineralised zones contain significant resources 40,000 tonnes of nickel, however these areas were not considered for the purposes of the development study.

    Snowden’s audit of the reserves at Radio Hill will now allow Fox to incorporate this information into the Radio Hill economic model with details to be released on completion.

    Radio Hill Mineral Resource above 1.0% Ni cut-off grade inclusive of Ore Reserve
    (Classified JORC audited by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants)
    Resource Category Tonnes Ni% Cu% Co% Pd g/t

    Measured 180,000 2.91 1.89 0.15 1.06

    Indicated 258,000 1.32 1.21 0.07 0.78

    Total Resource 438,000 2.0 1.5 0.1 0.9
    Contained Metal (tonnes) 8692 6541 483 0.39

    Radio Hill Mineral Ore Reserve
    (Classified JORC audited by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants)
    Reserve Category Tonnes Ni% Cu% Co% Pd g/t

    Proved Ore Reserve 149,000 2.40 1.58 0.13 0.91

    Probable Ore Reserve 164,000 1.32 1.17 0.07 0.77

    Total Ore Reserve 313,000 1.8 1.4 0.1 0.8
    Contained Metal (tonnes) 5728 5321 219 0.24

    Fox 100% owner of the Radio Hill Nickel Sulphide Mine, located near Karratha in WA. Fox acquired the project in September 2002, which includes a 150,000 to 180,000tpa nickel processing plant and a fully developed underground mine with a 1.8 kilometre decline to a depth of 280 metres. Previous owners between 1998 to 2002 have spent over $70 million in capital and approximately 20,000 tonnes of nickel metal was produced from Radio Hill.

    Fox is on target to re-start mining by mid 2004 producing around 35,000 tonnes of nickel and copper concentrates per year. Fox has resources of approximately 40,000 tonnes of nickel metal at Radio Hill and surrounding deposits at Mt Sholl and aims to extend mine life by continuing to successfully drill identified targets of high grade mineable ore.

    Since the acquisition of the Radio Hill mine the nickel price has increased from US$6,000 to over US$14,000 per tonne, which has had a major positive effect on project economics. Fox is well positioned to take advantage of current record nickel prices.

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